French clafoutis aux cerises. Learn how to make a perfect clafoutis, the classic home cooking treat the French love to bake when cherries season comes. So tasty and easy to prepare.
Ask the French. The only answer you’ll get for their favorite cherry dessert will be a cherry clafoutis, with beautiful, generous and flavorful black cherries, such as the burlat variety. Incredibly easy and quick to make, this traditional dessert is so delicious!
Cherry clafoutis is one of those homemade desserts baked with no specific reason as soon as cherries appears on the shelves at markets. It always have a great success. Eaten warm or cold, served alone or with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve had a hard time trying to find THE perfect traditional recipe as clafoutis, in many families such as in mine, is done pouring ingredient without measuring them. Au pif as we say in French (pif is the slang for nose. So this means that your nose – your feelings – helps you to judge if there are enough or if more is needed). After a long investigation, I have not been able to find two identical recipes.
The bases are more or less the same
- Cherries, of course, but how much? Generously fill the dish I was told.
- Eggs: 2, 3, or even 4
- Sugar, but not too much: the cherries are naturaly gorged with sugar
- Flour, but not too much or mix with some corn flour? The clafoutis should not ends too dense
- Milk, au pif. Or cream but it is early June, summer is coming, so it’s not the ideal moment for having too much calories
- Butter, a little au pif. Again!
There are some differences in: Those who choose cream instead of milk, I talked about that earlier, or use almond powder. I’m not keen on those choices. You can also replace milk by almond milk. Some chefs bake clafoutis in two steps so that cherries are perfectly neatly arranged in regular rows (first they bake a small amount of batter for 10 minutes, then they arrange and fix cherries in it and finally they cover with the remaining batter, without covering the cherries, before baking). Personally, I think it’s beautiful and may be great for photos, but it doesn’t fit with the image of clafoutis which is a traditional, family dish, more rustic that fancy.
Cherry clafoutis with or without pits?
Now we come to the main question : with or without pit. I’m firm with this, the answer is WITH, even if it upsets those who find it annoying or inelegant having to spit out the pits. Pits bring taste to the preparation.
You’ll notice that on the step by step photos, pits ave been discarded. My husband is not a big fan of pits at each bite of clafoutis so sometimes I remove pits. Longer to prepare but easier to eat.
After studying all these solutions, I decided a subtile combination that took notes (I didn’t want to write this articles with quantities … au pif). Result: dish emptied in a flash, childhood memories back in mind … it worked well. So here is the recipe. Your turn now.
For the story behind the dish
Clafoutis comes from French Limousin region and from the verb clafir which means to complete.
Easy French Cherry Clafoutis
- 600 gr cherries weight for whole cherries, including pits, variety according to your taste. if you use sour cherries, add more sugar.
- 4 eggs
- 80 gr sugar + optional 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 80 gr flour
- 1 cup milk 250 ml (or blant-based milk)
- 40 gr buter melted + room temperature butter for the mould
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Prepare the batter and cherries
- Measure and gently melt butter (in a pan or with the microwave.
- In a bowl (or using a blender) mix eggs and sugar. Add flour and salt constantly mixing. Pour milk and melted butter and mix again. That's all. If you follow this order in adding ingredients and if you mix with a whisk, you won't get any lumps.
- Grease your pan with butter.
- Rinse and dry cherries with a clean cloth.
- Place cherries in the mold. Pour the batter over.
Bake and serve
- Bake for about 40 minutes.
- Optional: 10 minutes before the end, sprinkle a generous tablespoon of brown sugar and increase of 20°F the heat so that it will caramelize a bit. The baking time depends on the size of your mold and the thickness of your filling.
- Allow to cool down. Serve cold or warm, alone or with vanilla ice cream or cherry coulis.